Direct Mail: A Better Conversion Tool Than Email?

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Snail Mail In The Digital Age
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There are plenty of arguments against direct mail marketing: it’s expensive, unmodern, and it doesn’t work. According to Forbes, these arguments are not only wrong, but your competitor’s stigma against sending direct mail might help you out in the long run.

What is direct mail marketing?

Direct mail marketing campaigns can be as elaborate as a high-end, luxury travel catalogue to a simple, personalized letter asking a lead to check out your business. Companies will send coupons, special offers, event invitations and more to potential leads to encourage their business. You can always sift through your own mail for ideas! Check out this extreme (but extremely effective!) example from a Porsche dealer, which elicited a 32% response rate from this direct mail campaign.

Why should you consider using it?

It seems counterintuitive: in the age of email, why is direct mail still around, and how in the world is it your most cost-effective conversion tool?

  • It’s popular. 41% of Americans look forward to receiving mail. (Gallup, 2015).
  • It’s personal. There’s something special about receiving a letter addressed to you that includes a personal greeting and information unique to your relationship with another person. Because personal mail has become so rare, many Americans even look forward to opening their mailbox at the end of the day! (Or week, if we’re being honest)
  • It integrates with your website. Thanks to QR codes, you can still send customers straight to your website to buy your product.
  • It reaches decision makers. Who opens the mail in a household? The person who pays the bills.
  • It elicits real responses. According to the Direct Marketing Association’s 2018 Response Rate Report, direct mail boasts a 4.9% response rate from prospects (9% to a house list), compared to email’s 1%. (DMA, 2018).
  • It’s underutilized by your competition. Remember all those myths about the death of direct mail marketing? Well, your competition believes it.

How to incorporate a direct mail marketing campaign into your lead generation strategy

As I said before, sending a meaningful and effective piece of direct mail marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. A personal, engaging letter will do, and it will stand out against the generic ads clogging everyone’s mailbox. This sounds tedious; how can something be personal and mass-produced without taking up all your time?

All you need for a successful direct mail campaign are mailing materials (envelopes, paper, stamps, and labels), a printer, a word processing program, and contact data in a spreadsheet. Check out this tutorial to learn how to export data and perform a mail merge, particularly if you’re exporting data from a CRM.

The Key Word: Incorporate

Even if you send in heartfelt letters and coupons, people will still want to interact with your company online. Make sure to include QR codes, your email address, and website in any direct mail you send (social media info doesn’t hurt either). You simply can’t rely on direct mail (or any marketing channel) alone.

So, make your direct mail special--something your potential customers can’t find online. A letter can be like a little gift; make your customers feel special when they find something in their mailbox from you.

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